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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Klaus, the ‘conversation review’ tool for support teams, picks up $1.9M seed

“No bad conversations between companies and their customers is what we’re shooting for,” Kair Käsper tells me. He’s the Head of Growth of a relatively new startup called Klaus, which he founded together with old high school friend Martin Kõiva.

Most recently the pair were employees at Pipedrive, holding the roles of Director of Product Marketing and Global Head of Customer Support, respectively. Many years prior to that they shared a flat together and worked on a number of projects. One of those was an applicant tracking startup called Jobkitten “that didn’t really go anywhere”.

The latest Käsper and Kõiva venture, however, appears to already be on firmer footing. Described as a “conversation review and QA tool for support teams,” Klaus is designed to help companies improve the quality of customer service. Two years in the making but only launched formally 6 months ago, customers already include Automattic, Wistia, and Soundcloud. And today the Estonian startup is disclosing $1.9 million in seed funding led by Creandum, the first Baltic investment by the Swedish VC firm and the first from its new fund.

“The problem is that maintaining an even, high level of customer service quality is hard,” explains Käsper. “It becomes even harder if you have over 20,000 monthly conversations with customers and your support team is 100 people in 3 offices.

“As the head of customer support, you want everyone on your team to provide answers that meet with internal standards, regardless of how long they’ve been with the company or how seriously they take their job. You get very anxious in this situation, because you have no idea about what’s going on in those thousands of conversations. For you, no visibility means no control”.

Screenshot 2

He says that his and Kõiva’s first hand experience at Pipedrive taught them that the key to quality assurance is going through past interactions and then giving systematic feedback to agents. “Kind of like code review in engineering or the editorial process in writing,” he says. “Teams all over the world are discovering this now, but they almost always start with a manual process, managed in spreadsheets. They get stuck fast”.

To make this type of feedback loop more scalable, Klaus has created a purpose-built UI for giving internal feedback. Smartly, it also integrates with modern SaaS help desk solutions, such as Zendesk and Intercom.

“[The software also has] countless specialized features that allow you to focus on the actual feedback instead of managing a spreadsheet,” adds the Klaus Head of Growth. They include the ability to easily filter out conversations for review, rate them based on a customized score card and notify agents of received feedback through email or Slack.

Meanwhile, the young company makes money by charging a monthly or yearly subscription fee based on how many users are connected to its app. In other words, just like Pipedrive before it, another classic enterprise SaaS play out of Estonia.

Update: An earlier version of this article wrongly said that Kair Käsper is CEO of Klaus when his job title is actually Head of Growth.


Source: TechCrunch

Tesla Model 3 Can Survive a Crash—and Avoid One, Too

The Model 3 scores well in European crash testing, a day after Tesla reported a quarterly record for deliveries.
Source: Wired

Sony announces a new $185M fund to invest in tech startups

Sony is doubling down on the world of startup investment. The Japanese tech giant announced a new fund that is aiming to raise 20 billion JPY (around $185 million) to invest in companies within “key high-growth industries.”

While Sony launched a fund in 2016, this new vehicle — which is called Innovation Growth Fund — has been set up with others. Firstly, it is being run jointly with Daiwa Capital Holdings — the VC arm of investment bank Daiwa Securities — and early LPs confirmed include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Osaka Shoko Shinkin Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited. Sony isn’t saying how much has been raised so far, but it isn’t the full target yet.

The previous fund made over 40 investments, Sony said, and now IGF is taking over with the goal of writing bigger checks than Sony typically manage by itself and paying closer attention to tech startups.

One longer-term goal is to help its portfolio companies develop into public firms, which is where Daiwa’s expertise of public listings comes into play. The fund, meanwhile, said it plans to open links with “renowned research institutions” and other tech companies to help its startups on their path — the latter certainly sounds like a SoftBank Vision Fund-style approach, albeit considerably less than its $100 billion ammunition.

“We believe that the integration of Sony’s insight of cutting-edge technologies and Daiwa Securities Group’s expertise in finance will lead to the creation of a new kind of venture capital business while providing the spark for new trends in the venture capital ecosystem,” said Yoshihisa Kaneko, executive managing director of Daiwa Securities, in a statement.


Source: TechCrunch

Cubyn raises €12M Series B to let e-merchants outsource fulfilment

Cubyn, the Paris-based logistics startup that lets e-merchants outsource fulfilment and delivery logistics, has raised €12 million in new funding. The round is led by DN Capital, with participation from Partech Ventures, 360 Capital Partners, BNP Paribas Developpement, and the French investment bank BPI France.

The injection of capital is timed with the launch of “Cubyn Fulfillment,” as the company moves beyond pickup and delivery only. The new service is described as a fully-integrated “first mile” solution that covers the entire fulfilment process including keeping stock in Cubyn’s warehouses. It claims to be offered at a 30% lower price point than competitors.

“We want to make affordable world-class logistics accessible to every single e-merchant, whatever their size,” Cubyn co-founder and CEO Adrien Fernandez Baca tells TechCrunch. “Our typical customer is an e-merchant who sells across sales channels (marketplaces their own website). Size can go from 500 to 50,000 orders shipped per month”.

Launched in 2015, Cubyn says that in four years it has made over 2 million shipments. It also reckons that because its tech is “built from the ground up,” the startup is well positioned to tackle fulfilment more efficiently than legacy players.

“Most direct competitors are the traditional third party logistics players who missed the e-commerce revolution and lack technology intelligence,” says Baca. “We are 30% cheaper, with simpler multi-channel integrations and higher delivery quality. Less direct competitors are the fulfilment offer of marketplaces. They do offer a good logistics experience at a good price, but only for orders going through their marketplace”.

This, he argues, means there is a big gap in the market for a solution geared at multi-channel e-merchants. “We are marketplace agnostic and offer a seamless and high quality multi-channel logistics,” adds the Cubyn CEO.

Specifically, the way the new Cubyn Fulfilment product works is as follows: An e-merchant signs up to Cubyn and plugs in their various sales channels, such as Amazon, Rakuten, eBay, Shopify etc. They then send Cubyn an appropriate amount of inventory to fulfil future orders, which is stored temporarily in a Cubyn warehouse. When an order is placed, Cubyn automatically packs the order and ships via the most suitable carrier to optimise for transit time and cost.

“Our customers pay based on the number of parcels they ship,” explains Baca. “Logistics is a game of volume and thanks to technology we can manage volumes that couldn’t be managed by historical players. This allow us to offer… cheaper prices and still have great margins”.


Source: TechCrunch

How to turn on HDR in Windows 10

Learn how to turn on HDR in Windows 10 with this guide. We will cover how to enable HDR for better video playback for both external and built-in displays. Get the right information on the settings you need.
Source: Digital trends

Bentley's New Hybrid Hides Its Luxury From the Masses

The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and deliver more than 500 pound-feet of torque. And the windshield wipers are hidden.
Source: Wired

Noah Schnapp of 'Stranger Things' Has a Crush on Zendaya

Get in line behind Spider-Man, friend.
Source: Wired

Court upholds city's right to warn consumers about phone radiation – CNET

Berkeley is allowed to require phone retailers to warn people about radiation risks in carrying phones in pockets and bras.
Source: CNET

Pokemon-filled Detective Pikachu pop-up coming to Comic-Con – CNET

Fans can visit a re-creation of Ryme City later this month in San Diego.
Source: CNET

Women's World Cup: USA vs. England memes score big – CNET

Alex Morgan sipped some imaginary tea after scoring on her 30th birthday. Or was she smoking a joint?
Source: CNET

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